SEMA Member News—September/October 2013
Meet The Newest MPMC Select Committee Members
The Motorsports Parts Manufacturers Council (MPMC) welcomes two freshman members to its Select Committee this year. Manny Grijalva is the vice president of marketing and sales at MSD, and Robert Wityczak is an account manager from Magnaflow. SEMA Member News caught up with both of them just long enough to get their thoughts on joining the committee.
SEMA Member News: What is your history in the industry and in MPMC?
Manny Grijalva: My dad is an enthusiast, so I was exposed to the industry at an early age. I have been involved professionally now for more than 20 years. I started at 3M Co., then spent 15 years at Gold Eagle Co., with positions in sales, marketing, customer service and product innovation. While there, I also got involved with Automotive Aftermarket Industry Association work groups and committees, eventually sitting on its board of directors. When I got hired at MSD, I knew I wanted to get involved with SEMA. I attended the Media Trade Conference (MTC) for the first time earlier this year. What a terrific benefit to have the opportunity to interact with so many industry and media influencers! After looking into other MPMC activities, I knew that MPMC was the place for me to best utilize my skills and abilities to help the industry. What a talented group of people!
Robert Wityczak: I started in the industry working at a local auto-parts store in high school. After college, I spent 13 years at Grant Steering Wheels, eventually as national sales manager. From there, I went to EGR and came to Magnaflow in August of last year. I was very active in the Young Executives Network and became familiar with SEMA and the councils. Now that I am with Magnaflow, MPMC seems a natural step.
SMN: Why do you feel that it’s important to serve on the MPMC Select Committee?
MG: Having been involved in supporting industry committees and boards in the past, I have observed firsthand the value that a group of passionate individuals can bring to an industry. Like any industry segment, we [motorsports parts manufacturers] have our challenges and our opportunities. It is important that we have an organized voice to optimize our opportunities and minimize our challenges. Much like the people before me, my goal is to keep our industry alive and well for many years to come.
RW: The industry is always changing along with the demands of the enthusiasts who use our products. Being a part of a leading company that supports SEMA and its councils provides an extraordinary opportunity to participate in the future of this industry alongside others who support and share a common belief in our responsibility as leaders.
SMN: What do you see MPMC doing well?
MG: Legislative involvement and communication are very solid, and the MTC is invaluable. Throw in the continual industry updates and market insights offered to SEMA members, and you have a well-rounded set of valued industry deliverables. I am really anxious to see how Education Day at the Performance Racing Industry Trade Show is going to be accepted by the show attendees. Having a forum to communicate directly with people who are thirsting for knowledge has us very excited at MSD. From what I have seen up to this point, I think this is another area where MPMC is doing well.
RW: Diverse representation among the committee and the membership.
SMN: What do you think MPMC needs to work on?
MG: We need to increase our communications on many of the valuable assets we already have available. My perception is that most SEMA members are not aware that we have information on topics such as insurance, counterfeiting, freight policy and minimum advertised pricing, to name a few. There also must be other areas that keep us all awake at night. We can either try to solve these issues as single companies or together as an industry. Someone much smarter than me said something about two heads being better than one.
SMN: Is there anything else you’d like to add?
MG: I’m excited for our first meeting. I look forward to meeting my council-mates and diving into the issues and opportunities affecting our industry the most. It’s truly an honor to be a part of such a talented team, and I’m ready to get to work.
RW: Thank you for the opportunity to serve on this council as a committee member.